New Year’s food resolutions

As we look forward to 2020 vision (I had to make that joke sometime!), many of us are taking stock in the year that has passed and resolving to make a change in one or more areas of our lives. For food and cookbook lovers, this change often revolves around cooking and eating. I looked at my resolutions for 2018 and 2019 and found that I did, in fact, make progress on both – although I am about a year behind. For 2018, I had planned to make more breakfast at home and for 2019, my goal was to be more organized in the kitchen.

It took some effort, but this year I refrained from grabbing a granola bar as I headed out the door, instead getting into the office a bit earlier and having a proper breakfast. Since I brought a toaster oven into our break room I have been able to make toast and, more importantly, reheat other foods that suffer by being in the microwave. I also perfected my ability to make and reheat poached eggs. So this year (only a year behind my original resolution), I almost completely eliminated unhealthy on-the-go breakfasts.

I am hopeful that next year I finally get organized in my kitchen, so that the kitchen is not a disaster zone after I am done making a meal there. This year I took baby steps in that direction, making sure that I had a clean kitchen every day – I did not go to bed until all dishes were washed and put away and all countertops were clean. Next up is making sure I have more organization during the actual process of cooking, something I have yet to achieve.

Since I will need a goal in 2021, for 2020 I am making another resolution. I’m shooting for zero waste cooking. This means I want to make sure that in this house we eat everything we cook, we try to find uses for food items normally discarded, and we substantially reduce the amount of packaging in the products we buy. I am fortunate that I work in a major metropolitan area, which means that I have access to food cooperatives and stores that allow me to bring in my own containers for bulk items and offer produce that is not overly packaged. I started a compost pile last year, although it is across the yard from our back door. That posed a problem when we had tremendous snowfalls in 2019, so this year I have a large bin outside of the back door that will hold items until I have the ability to transport them to the larger pile.

What are your New Year’s food resolutions?

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  • Jane  on  January 1, 2020

    I have several resolutions for 2020: get all the piles of cookbooks on my office floor filed (and when I get time tag more recipes with “I want to cook this”). Empty my freezer – I keep stashing things then forgetting they are there – and then get it better organized. In 2019 I did organize my pantry (larder in UK) and now have all my staples in bins rather than piled up on shelves. That means I can easily pull out a bin to find something rather than rooting through mountains of bags. The baking shelf has 3 bins – flours, GF and nut flours, and sugars. And the starches shelf has pasta, beans, and grains. It has made such a difference and I don’t know why it took me so long.

  • Rinshin  on  January 1, 2020

    My kitchen, pantry and closet for storing Asian shelf stable food items are well organized. But I am running out of space for cookbooks even though I try to only purchase ebooks because of Japanese language cookbooks which are not available to me in kindle format outside of Japan. So my goal this year is to start culling some of my cooking magazines. I am planning to remove Saveur which takes up two shelves 6 ft long each. Then, it is to start clearing out my clothes. It is definitely time as I will never have a 20 year old body again.

  • MarciK  on  January 2, 2020

    I hadn’t really considered food related resolutions until now. One thing I have committed to for the year is to make a special birthday treat for each of my coworker’s birthdays. It gives me a reason to bake, although I’m letting them pick what they want so most of the time I’m making something that isn’t as exciting as I’d like to do. I am running out of bookshelf space, so this year I have to seriously consider what I am purchasing. Last year I bought a lot, so it’s time to slow down. I want to actually cook from them more this year. My problem is planning, I’ve found that I’m better prepared if I grab a random cookbook, do a quick flip through for something that seems reasonable with my available time and accessibility of ingredients, and snap a picture of the ingredient list.

  • lkgrover  on  January 2, 2020

    My resolution is to make one recipe each month than can be frozen for quick meals (or main courses): empanadas, dumplings, filled pasta. I made beef empanadas last week.

    I reorganized my herbs & spices in November, which has greatly improved my kitchen prep time.

  • averythingcooks  on  January 3, 2020

    Last year’s resolution was to drastically reduce produce waste. Taking the time to store veg (especially greens and herbs) properly, using EYB a lot to find appropriate recipes, making veg stock for the freezer every couple of weeks and learning to pickle / freeze things creatively all made a huge difference. I am also an obsessive soup maker (and eater :). This year, I’m with Jane on working through LOTS of freezer space (1 upright full size & 2 bottom 1/2s of standard fridges) to use the meals and ingredients I worked so hard to prepare and preserve. As well, we freeze lots of meat using our FoodSaver and it’s not unheard of to stumble across something pricey that I actually forgot we had.

  • nicolthepickle  on  January 3, 2020

    In 2017 I had a resolution to cook one, new recipe per month from a cookbook that I already own. I’ve decided it’s time to do that again. I have so many nice books, and yet I tend to make the same things over and over again.

  • readingtragic  on  January 4, 2020

    I made a resolution to eat with my left (non dominant) hand to try to eat a bit slower, being a terrible shoveller! Now I need a resolution that helps me remember to do it…

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